Film News – Keanu Reeves On John Wick 3

Keanu Reeves has had a resurgence as an action movie star thanks to his role as John Wick in the John Wick film franchise. The third film in this series is going to be released this year and, in an interview with a small group of journalists, Keanu Reeves had the chance to discuss John Wick 3.

John Wick 3

Keanu Reeves had this to say on how the skills he has learnt playing the part of John Wick have helped him in acting and real life:

It’s been really fun to be on a street and be in a store that people like, and sometimes love. That’s really nice. I love the character and I love the world. I don’t often times get to contribute to the story as much as I do with this project. Learning how to do that – learning how to collaborate with the writers, and with Chad, that’s been fun to explore. It’s great to have the voice to be able to do that.”

Keanu Reeves also discussed what he is most proud about when it comes to the John Wick franchise:

I would say it’s the blend of elements that it has. I think the way the action is and the world that’s created. I think the cinema of the series is really strong – you know, the framing, the the camera movement. I think the set design is really great. So, I think the film is really easy to watch. It’s beautiful.”

There’s a character that we root for, hopefully. He’s fighting for his life. They’re not insulting. The films are fun, but they’re smart. There’s humor, and action. Comedy. It has a unique tone, I think. So, you can tell I’m a fan. So, I would say those are the elements.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Bumblebee (Film/Movie Review) – The First Good Transformers Film

Bumblebee is a sci-fi action film directed by Travis Knight. It is the sixth instalment in the live-action Transformers movie franchise and, thankfully, the first not to be directed by Michael Bay. The movie stars Pamela Adlon, John Ortiz, James Drucker, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena and Hailee Steinfeld. Angela Bassett, Dylan O’Brien, Justin Theroux and Peter Cullen also star in voice roles.

The story of Bumblebee is set in 1987 where the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons on Cybertron is reaching a critical point. Bumblebee (Dylan O’Brien) is tasked by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), heroic leader of the Autobots, to establish a base on Earth.

After taking severe damage, Bumblebee seeks refuge in California and is discovered by Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager still struggling with the loss of her father. Charlie and Bumblebee forge a friendship and work together to achieve Bumblebee’s mission and protect Earth from the Decepticon threat.

My Expectation For Bumblebee

While not exactly the pinnacle of cinema, I will always have a soft spot for Transformers and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The same cannot be said for the abysmal Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Age of Extinction. In fact, I hated the latter so much that I did not bother seeing Transformers: The Last Knight. Judging from the reviews for The Last Knight, that was probably for the best.

So, five films in and my enthusiasm for the Transformers film series was completely gone. That was the case until the marketing campaign for Bumblebee began. I saw promising signs from the trailers that Travis Knight could bring his brilliant work on Kubo and the Two Strings over to Bumblebee and the positive reviews Bumblebee received got me really excited. It was possible that Bumblebee could be the first legitimately good Transformers movie.

My Thoughts On Bumblebee

As it turns out, Bumblebee is indeed the first truly good Transformers film. However, I will say that the best film it could have been was its very first scene. The first scene shows the Cybertronian Civil War and I wished it was the whole movie. I felt that there was some superb action with dramatic weight in this scene and I was kind of gutted that it ended so quickly. Still, the film we got in the end was enjoyable.

As the film progressed, one thing was very clear to me; Bumblebee is not a prequel to the 2007 Transformers film. It is instead a soft reboot of the Transformers movie franchise. Indeed, the credits scene is overwhelming proof of this if anyone needed more confirmation and the credits scene brilliantly sets up sequels to Bumblebee.

The heart and soul of Bumblebee is the relationship between Bumblebee and Charlie and Hailee Steinfeld’s performance is key to the success of this film. Certainly, unlike every other Transformers film, this movie puts character first which was quite refreshing. I also liked the 80s setting and the nostalgic moments deliver whether it was the music or the consistent references to The Breakfast Club.

In terms of influences on this film, you can see how similar Bumblebee is to a movie such as The Iron Giant and, in terms of more improvements over previous Transformers movies, the comedy in this film is much better. This was not a particularly hard thing to accomplish and not every comedic moment delivers, especially with John Cena who was very hit and miss in Bumblebee.

My Final Thoughts On Bumblebee

Nevertheless, in the end, I was relieved at how much I enjoyed Bumblebee and I hope there are sequels because this movie is a good base for more Transformers films to be made. If you had gone sour over the Transformers films as I did, give Bumblebee a chance. I do not think you will regret it.

bumblebee review

 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Film Review) – It’s Great, But It Had The Potential To Be Exceptional

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is an action film produced, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. This is the second Mission: Impossible film that has had Christopher McQuarrie in the director’s chair and it is a movie that serves as being the sixth instalment in the Mission: Impossible franchise as well as a sequel to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Tom Cruise reprises his iconic role as Ethan Hunt in Fallout and he is part of a cast where Simon Pegg, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson all reprise their roles from previous movies in this franchise. Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett and Henry Cavill are the newcomers to the cast. The story of Fallout centres on Ethan Hunt and his team who must deal with the interference of August Walker (Henry Cavill), a CIA assassin who has been tasked to monitor Hunt and his team after a failed mission.

My Expectations For Mission: Impossible – Fallout

For me, the Mission: Impossible franchise starts with Mission: Impossible 3. The first Mission: Impossible and Mission: Impossible 2 are pretty bad films in my opinion and I completely disregard them. However, I think every movie after those two in this franchise gets progressively better in quality. Indeed, I believe that the pinnacle of this series is Rogue Nation which was such a fun, entertaining action film. In terms of pure entertainment, I like Mission: Impossible 3, really like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and love Rogue Nation.

As you can imagine, my hopes and expectations for Fallout were incredibly high. Indeed, some of the reviews stated that this was not only the best instalment in the franchise but one of the best action movies ever made. This praise really made me excited to see the film. If Fallout was able to top Rogue Nation, I would be ecstatic as I would have seen one of the best films of 2018 so far.

My Thoughts On Mission: Impossible – Fallout

For me, while this is one of a number of great films I have seen so far in 2018, Fallout is not better than Rogue Nation. But, I do prefer it over Ghost Protocol and it gets really close to being the best film in this franchise. From an entertainment standpoint, I had an absolute great time watching Fallout from beginning to end. Clearly, a Mission: Impossible movie is going to heavily rely on action to keep its audience entertained and I would contest that the action and cinematography in Fallout are the best that we have ever seen in this franchise.

Simon Pegg as Benji, Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and Ving Rhames as Luther in Mission Impossible Fallout

Visually, the film is gripping and the fight choreography and action set-pieces are beautifully shot and executed to their fullest potential. Story-wise, Fallout also gives us what I would probably consider to be the most layered plot so far in this franchise which I really appreciated as it made the movie compelling. Performance-wise, everyone in the cast delivers. While there are a couple of clunky-lines of dialogue scattered throughout Fallout, this is more of a minor script nit-pick rather than a cast problem.

Tom Cruise is, as always, great as Ethan Hunt and Hunt is humanised in this film when it comes to his relationships which was good to see from a dramatic perspective. I loved the expanded role that Ving Rhames had in Fallout and a scene he had with Rebecca Ferguson was a particular highlight in this regard. Ferguson herself, just like in Rogue Nation, is exceptional and Simon Pegg is a great focal point for the majority of the humour in Fallout.

A Great Movie That Could Have Been Exceptional

All of the things listed above make Fallout a great film and just behind Rogue Nation as my second favourite movie in the Mission: Impossible franchise. However, it could have been so much better than it was. Sadly, Fallout has the same problem as every movie in this franchise; I was never made to feel as though the characters were in any real danger or that there were any real consequences.

Henry Cavill as August Walker in Mission Impossible Fallout

What made this even more painful was the fact that there are times when Fallout has glorious chances to subvert, glorious chances to go dark and bold in its narrative. But, it goes the other way every single time and the entire opening of the film is a prime example of this which really bummed me out. It made me longing for Fallout to have more consequences but it fails in this regard. The movie is what you expect when it comes to the overall final outcome which is a shame.

Still, that major gripe is the only one I have. Fallout is, overall, a great film that could have been amazing but Fallout is absolutely worth your time at the cinema. All I hope for the future of this franchise is that the storyline in the next film subverts what you would expect from a Mission: Impossible film when it comes to the outcome of its story.

Mission Impossible Fallout Film Review Pin

 

Baby Driver (Film Review) – Original and Stylish

Baby Driver is an action film written and directed by Edgar Wright and stars Kevin SpaceyLily JamesJon BernthalEiza GonzálezJon HammJamie Foxx and Ansel Elgort. The story of the film focuses on Baby (Ansel Elgort), a getaway driver who reluctantly works for veteran kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) in exchange for the start of a better life which he wants to share with Debora (Lily James).

My Knowledge and Expectation of Baby Driver

Baby Driver is the first film that I have seen at the cinema since Wonder Woman and I was looking forward to seeing it. Certainly, it has been receiving a lot of buzz since its world premiere at South by Southwest in March 2017. More recently, the film has been praised by critics for its soundtrack, originality and performances by Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx.

While all of this raised my expectations, the main reason why Baby Driver was such a highly anticipated film for myself was because of Edgar Wright. Now, to be honest, I have not loved all of his films. Indeed, I found Shaun of the Dead and At World’s End to be a bit underwhelming. However, I adore Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I did not know what side Baby Driver would fall on but I was hoping for the best because Edgar Wright is a special director who deserves to be supported.

Ansel Elgort as Baby in Baby Driver

My Thoughts on Baby Driver

Overall, I prefer Baby Driver to Shaun of the Dead and At World’s End but it does not quite reach the same level of quality as Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. There are many things to admire in this very good film that has a great blend of originality and style.

For one, I thought that the performances in this Baby Driver were great. All the cast members did a wonderful job and Ansel Elgort performed very well in the lead role of Baby. His chemistry with Lily James was very natural and the relationship that Baby had with his foster Dad was especially heartfelt.

Lily James and Ansel Elgort as Debora and Baby in Baby Driver

The Music of Baby Driver

Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey were also standouts in a film where the music is such a pivotal reason for how good it is. I loved how the soundtrack is so embedded into the pacing of Baby Driver and it essentially becomes its own character in the film. In this regard, I must give a lot of credit to Edgar Wright for achieving what I can only imagine was an extremely difficult thing to accomplish. This is due to the attention to detail that would have been required for this to succeed to the degree that it did.

The film flows nicely because of this. For me, the only thing that comes close to how pivotal the music is to the pacing and style of Baby Driver in recent memory is a video game called Sunset Overdrive. Obviously, the use of music gives the film an extremely unique and original quality to it. In fact, the originality of Baby Driver reminded me of The Nice Guys and I just hope that more people will see original films like these ones.

Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort as Buddy, Darling, Bats and Baby in Baby Driver

Undoubtedly, Baby Driver ranks amongst the best films that 2017 has offered so far. Moreover, its qualities also elevate it above some previous Edgar Wright films. The only thing that prevents this film from being on the same level as Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is that I found the humour in those films to be better. Still, Baby Driver is funny at times so if you want to be thoroughly entertained and support original filmmaking, then I implore you to see Baby Driver because we need films such as this one to freshen up the film industry.

Fate of the Furious (Film Review) – Ridiculous Fun

The Fate of the Furious is an action film directed by F. Gary Gray and stars Vin DieselDwayne ‘The Rock’ JohnsonJason StathamMichelle RodriguezTyrese GibsonChris ‘Ludacris’ BridgesScott EastwoodNathalie EmmanuelKurt Russell and Charlize Theron. This is the eighth instalment in The Fast and the Furious franchise and the first since the tragic death of Paul Walker. The story of this film focuses on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) who has left his old life behind and settled down in Havana, Cuba. However, cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) forces him into working for her and turns him against his team and, more importantly, his family.

My Knowledge and Expectation of The Fate of the Furious

Without a doubt, The Fast and the Furious franchise is my ultimate guilty pleasure. I know that these films are not exactly masterpieces in film-making, especially the first four entries in the franchise. They make no sense and I do not care. They are fun, action-packed and highly entertaining. I expected the same from Fate of the Furious and was very much looking forward to the next family adventure and seeing how this film would cope without Paul Walker.

Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious

My Thoughts on The Fate of the Furious

I had an absolute blast with this film. Is it the best in the franchise? No, but it is a great ride nonetheless. What I have appreciated in the most recent instalments in this franchise is the fact that these films know what they are; dumb fun. There is plenty of that in this film. There were many times where what I was seeing on screen left me laughing to the point of tears. Some of the action in Fate of the Furious is ridiculous but it has worked before and it works now.

The humour in this franchise is a key element to its success and the comedic moments in Fate of the Furious were excellent. A lot of the comedy came from Roman (Tyrese Gibson) but the chemistry between Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) provided some brilliant lines in the film. I hope they collaborate in future films in this franchise.

Jason Statham and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

A Stronger Story Than I Was Expecting

Surprisingly, I felt that the story in Fate of the Furious was one of the better ones in this franchise. Usually, the plots in these films are secondary to the action but the story from beginning to end felt like an actual story, not a device to serve the action. The reason why I felt this way was down to Dom’s reason why he betrayed the family. Once we found out why this happened, it is very understandable why Dom went rogue due to his loyalty to family.

The only major critique that I would have about Fate of the Furious is that it is a bit too long for a film like this. However, if you are a fan of this franchise and appreciate these films for what they are, then the length is not going to be a big deal for you. More importantly, the film manages to set up a new chapter in this franchise while staying true to what makes the films so popular with its great humour and over-the-top action. If you do not take Fate of the Furious too seriously, then you will enjoy it.

Free Fire (Film Review) – An Enjoyable Surprise

Free Fire is an action-comedy directed by Ben Wheatley and stars stars Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor. Free Fire is set in the 1970s and the story of the film focuses on a group of criminals who meet up in a warehouse for an arms deal. However, tensions run high and a disagreement quickly sparks a full-scale shootout between the two parties who were making the transaction.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Free Fire

I knew very little about Free Fire before I watched it at my local cinema. Nowadays, it is very hard to go into a film and not know anything about it due to an abundance of trailers, reviews and, unfortunately, spoilers. Apart from one trailer and a few reviews of the film coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last year, Free Fire was an unknown quantity and, because of this, I did not know what to expect from this film.

Brie Larson in Free Fire

My Thoughts on Free Fire

On the whole, I really enjoyed Free Fire for what it was. It was a nice surprise. There are funny moments throughout the film thanks to the fantastic script that has some really witty, snappy dialogue. Still, any film can have a great script but you need a good cast of actors to bring the words to life.

Thankfully, Free Fire succeeds on this level. On an individual basis, each actor in the film is good and particular standouts, for me, were Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer as they were involved in the most humorous moments in the film. Yet, it is the actors’ interactions with each other, as an ensemble, where Free Fire shines. The cast had great chemistry and I found it to be the films’ strongest element.

Armie Hammer in Free Fire

The Flaws of Free Fire

This is why I felt that the third act of Free Fire was the weakest and the film did fall off during that period. At that stage, let’s just say there were not as many people in the film than there were at the start. As a consequence, there were fewer moments where the cast could interact with each other and provide consistently funny moments. The third act relied more on action than comedy and, while the two were intrinsically linked throughout the film, the comedy was stronger than the action in Free Fire.

Despite this, I still enjoyed the film. Moreover, I preferred it much more than Ben Wheatley’s previous work in High-Rise and I feel that Free Fire is a great foundation for Ben Wheatley to build upon and become more of a mainstream name. In the end, if you are interested in watching Free Fire, I do not feel like you will be let down.